Welcoming members to the Ummah will always be our number one priority. Cancel culture doesn’t have a place in Islam; forgiveness lies at the core of our religion.
So, if you’re like me, you are both happy and worried over Andrew Tate’s announcement that he has embraced Islam and is now Muslim. Allah (SWT) is the only judge and I hope Tate’s intentions are pure.
And this man, the face of misogyny, is about to amplify Islamophobia.
But I feel uneasy as I think about the ways in which culture misconstrues my beautiful religion. And this man, the face of misogyny, is about to amplify Islamophobia. Allah (SWT) forgives us all as long as we go to him and we repent. I hope Tate repents and has taken the steps needed for forgiveness, including seeking the forgiveness of those he has hurt or harmed. It is no secret that Muslim men have a stigma/stereotype of being controlling and abusive.
The Taliban (and the Iranian Government) do not help this stigma. Mainstream media always, and ONLY, covers stories on hijab compulsion and not the freedom to wear hijab, which does not help this stigma. I have found myself in several conversations, in person and online, defending my beautiful religion that loves and protects women. I have found myself fighting day and night to debunk the misconception that Islam is misogynistic – and in fact, it is quite feminist.
The news of Tate converting to Islam welcomed many comments across social media, but the ones that struck a nerve for me were the comments about him using Islam as an excuse for his crimes; that he chose Islam because he believes it is a misogynistic religion. Once again, I need to make it clear that Islam does not condone the ill-treatment of women in any way.
Respect for women in Islam
Before Islam, it is reported that women were treated worse than animals. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) treated every single woman in his life with kindness, respect, and love. The Prophet (PBUH) wanted to put an end to all cruelties against women and told Muslims to, “fear Allah in respect of women.”
Women and marriage in Islam
The Prophet (PBUH) told Muslim men, “the best of you are they who behave best to their wives.” Islam commands men of the faith to treat their wives with respect and dignity. The Prophet (PBUH) reminded believers, “the more civil and kind a Muslim husband to his wife, the more perfect in faith he is.”
Stereotypes regarding Islam suggest that women are inferior and Muslim men have the right to control and abuse. How can this be true when the Prophet (PBUH) was once asked about the rights a wife has over her husband and said, “feed her when you take your food, give her clothes to wear when you wear clothes, refrain from giving her a slap on the face or abusing her, and do not separate your wife, except within the house.”
Most importantly, Muslim women have the right to choose their husbands. For a marriage to be Islamically legal, the woman must consent. Chapter 4, Verse 19 of the Holy Quran explicitly forbids anyone to inherit women against their will and continues to command that they be treated with kindness and respect. There is no space in Islam that allows a coerced marriage; no female can be forced into marriage.
Women’s rights in Islam
Allah (SWT) says in Chapter 2, Verse 228 of the Holy Qur’an, “and for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.”
Let us be reminded that the Prophet (PBUH) never got in the way of Khadija (RA) from managing a business. In fact, he supported her to become the most extraordinary woman and the greatest role model for all Muslim women. Together with Khadija (RA,) the Prophet (PBUH) stood up against the mistreatment of women and championed their right to own properties, run businesses, and have a say in politics.
The Prophet (PBUH) was a believer in the right to education for all. He once said, “the pursuit of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim, man, and woman.”
Subjecting women to cultural expectations and patriarchal features of their society is culture and custom, not an Islamic tradition.
Aisha (RA,) the Prophet’s (PBUH) third wife, the Mother of Believers, loved learning and was supported by her husband. Her drive to learn resulted in her becoming a brilliant scholar and jurist. As believers, we owe a lot of what we know about our beloved religion and our Prophet (PBUH) to Aisha (RA.) It is because of her, her studies, and her recordings of the Prophet’s (PBUH) communications that we have vast Islamic scholarship today.
Islam is not equal to Andrew Tate and Andrew Tate is not equal to Islam
It is unfortunate that extremist societies and communities choose to disrespect and dishonor women. Subjecting women to cultural expectations and patriarchal features of their society is a culture and a custom, not an Islamic tradition.
- Andrew Tate becoming Muslim does not justify his misogynistic ways or his crimes against women.
- Andrew Tate becoming Muslim is not a reflection of Islam.
- Andrew Tate has converted to Islam, and as Muslims, we are to believe that our beautiful religion will change him for the better, as long as culture does not get in the way.
Disclaimer: The allegations against him are serious and we hope the women he has harmed get the justice they want. Tate’s podcasts have encouraged men all over the world to be controlling and abusive towards women. I do not support Andrew Tate in any form or fashion – but as a Muslim, I am happy to see the Ummah grow. As a Muslim woman, I have to defend the reputation of my religion; the religion that loves me and the religion that I love.